First tenants have taken up offices in a state-of-the-art business centre at a landmark building in Ilkeston that was transformed at a cost of almost £1m.
More businesses are queuing up to join them at Toll Bar House close to the White Lion Square roundabout junction that is a gateway to the town centre.
So far more than half of the 27 fully-serviced office spaces have been signed up since the centre opened in September.
It is managed by enterprise agency Erewash Partnership on behalf of owners Erewash Borough Council.
The authority invested £425,000 in refurbishing and breathing new life into the building. This was matched by D2N2, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
A further £126,000 was secured by contractor J.Tomlinson from the Government's Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme aimed at helping local authorities with projects designed to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon output and lower energy bills. This took the total transformation cost to £976,000.
The fully-managed offices, ranging in size from 174-497 sq ft, are all broadband ready and individually key fob-secured for access 24 hours a day 365 days a year. They are available on easy-in, easy-out terms.
There are several meeting rooms and a bookable conference suite seating 18 people. All floors have their own kitchen areas and are DDA compliant, including lifts. There are showers, secure basement storage and 59 parking spaces, including some for people with disabilities.
First to move in was Hello People Solutions which switched from another Partnership-managed business centre in the town, The Old Police Station. The company deals with human resources issues for small businesses.
It has taken two offices for its three staff and hopes to recruit another member next year.
Owner Amanda Bayliss said; “I was attracted by the location just outside the town centre. These premises are modern, well-fitted out, have good security and a strong professional feel.”
Kym Ellington owns accounting brands in Ilkeston, Nottingham and Grantham. He is re-configuring offices and staff to accommodate for growth during the pandemic. This includes re-locating D&D Accountancy Services from Nottingham Road, Ilkeston and developing the K2 brand into Ilkeston including moving K2 Accountancy Group's head office from Nottingham.
Initially 13 people will move into seven suites at the new centre plus outside garages.
Kym and several staff live in Ilkeston and he feels it is important that they should support the town and the business community.
"Toll Bar House is an iconic building in Ilkeston, well located, well re-appointed in its refurbishment and fits all our needs," he said. "We found both Erewash Partnership and the council good partners to do business with."
Paul Cobb, owner of five different companies, is moving six accounting and marketing staff from various factories in Ilkeston to Toll Bar House, which also frees up space in them.
“It's a fantastic centre, close to our factories,” he said. “It's very secure and quiet.”
Partnership chief executive Ian Viles said: “We are proud that Toll Bar House is the third business centre we are now managing in Ilkeston, bringing jobs to the town. We are delighted at the early success in attracting tenants.”